Stan Van Gundy, smartly, is going to take the dual role with Detroit Pistons as president and coach. And based on reports seconded by a few sources, the expectation is that New York will eventually work out a deal with Steve Kerr.

That puts the Warriors back to the drawing board, and it puts Lionel Hollins in play. If it doesn't, it should. After Van Gundy, the next best thing available is Hollins. There is interest from Warriors management, per one source, and some in the front office might even be of the opinion the Warriors should have already locked up Hollins. So if their clear first two choices don't pan out, Hollins will likely get some attention from the Warriors.

And he probably should.

Their record improved each of his four years at Memphis, culminating with a trip to the Western Conference finals. A big reason is their defense got better ever year: from 19th in defensive rating to ninth to seventh to second.

That figures to warrant of serious consideration.

The Warriors have the luxury of having the most ready-to-win roster of the available jobs, so Hollins and most other candidates will probably wait to see what the Warriors do before aggressively pursuing other options. Forever? Probably not. But that only comes into play if this Kerr thing drags out. Meanwhile, as long as the Warriors have a winning situation to walk into, most people will wait until they come calling (unless they already have said never mind).


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Golden State wants an offensive guy and Hollins definitely a defense-first candidate. His best offensive rating in Memphis came in 2009-10 -- 108.3 points per 100 possessions (good for 13th in 2009-10). Last season, he had the Grizzlies 17th in offensive rating (104.9).

Certainly, part of that is roster. But the Warriors want an advanced offensive system for Curry to lead. If you believe the scuttle, one of the reasons Memphis fired Hollins was because the new owner wanted a new-age approach (advanced stats, movement, emphasis on spacing, etc.)

To that end, I'm told Hollins is going to bring on a respected offensive mind as an assistant. No doubt, the Warriors would want to approve, but one name being linked to Hollins as an offensive-guru assistant is Paul Westphal.

A big deal for the Warriors in this search is the ability for the coach to work with management and the rest of the staff. That was one of the main reasons the Warriors fired Mark Jackson. That's a hurdle that neither Kerr nor Van Gundy had to jump because they already have a relationship with Lacob and the Warriors' staff. The Warriors already felt like they would fit that way.

It's not very clear how well Warriors' management knows Hollins. If they don't know him, it's going to take some convincing that he'll be good at . . . "managing upward and sideways."

Another factor in Hollins' benefit: he'll come cheaper than Kerr and Van Gundy and he isn't, far as I've heard, demanding final input on basketball decisions. That matters as the Warriors' current set up requires Bob Myers' basketball operations staff, with Lacob overseeing, making the basketball decisions.